Two-Story Stone Cottage in the Heart of Carmel Village
You won’t see any neon signs or fast-food joints in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California—they aren’t allowed. Since 1963, neither are high heels. Of course, no one can remember the last time a citation was issued for wearing stilettos, but these prohibitions speak to the town’s desire to preserve its quaint character and prevent stumbling upon its cobblestone streets. The Cobblestone Inn takes its name from the uneven streets that surround it; inlaid stone lines the bottom half of the two-story inn, giving it the distinct look of a classic English cottage.
Inside, the inn recalls present-day New England with its blue-and-white plaid sofas clustered around a rock hearth. Idyllic reminders of home are scattered throughout the inn. In the sitting room, watering cans with cheerful sunflowers sit atop the fireplace, and tableside lamps made from birdcages light up a stack of leather-bound books. Outside, a peaceful stone patio encourages guests to relax in the sunshine, take in shade under the table’s umbrellas, or enjoy the evening wine, cheese, and sherry service alfresco.
Each of the eight guest rooms has been individually decorated to pay homage to the English countryside, using pastoral wallpaper, antique trunks, and glass decanters. Before bedtime, unwind inside a bubbling whirlpool bath with the provided bottle of wine.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California: Bohemian Outpost with Boutique Shops and Wineries
Located just a few hours south of San Francisco along the coastline, Carmel-by-the-Sea is surrounded by colorful scenes, from the blue waters of the Pacific to the green of verdant meadows. “If you’ve never been to Carmel-by-the-Sea … picture a quiet English village along a rugged Pacific coastline,” writes Coastal Living. Once an outpost for bohemian types such as Jack London, the one-mile-square town remains true to its roots as a traditional English hamlet: streetlights, numbered addresses, and hovercrafts are nonexistent.
An influx of European-bistro–style restaurants, valley vineyards, and boutiques has recently joined the mix. In addition to the town's live theater and 40 art galleries, the area hosts several outdoor activities, including whale watching and kayaking in the Pacific and hiking among the redwoods at Big Sur, located 45 minutes up scenic Highway 1. Golfers should consider taking the 10-minute drive to Pebble Beach Golf Links, which has hosted five US Open tournaments and was called one of the world’s Top 10 Golf Courses by National Geographic.
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